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Handyman says he killed, chopped up ‘Food Network Star’ pregnant contestant and her husband

On Thursday, a North Carolina handyman pleaded guilty to the 2015 murder and mutilation of a Food Network Star contestant, who was five months pregnant, and her husband.

People reports that Robert Jason Owens, 37, stood in a Buncombe County courtroom and said that he was responsible for the deaths of Cristie Schoen Codd, her unborn baby, Skylar, and her husband, J.T. Codd. Prosecutors said that Owens was in the process of getting rid of the victims’ bodies when police arrested him in 2015. He initially claimed he accidentally ran over J.T. and Cristie while they assisted with his truck that was stuck in a ditch.

Owens worked for the couple as a contractor handyman at their home in Leicester, North Carolina.  He admitted that he killed them while still working for them, but even with his confession, many questions still remain. It’s still not clear why they were killed, and according to Buncombe County, North Carolina, District Attorney Todd Williams, Owens is the only one that can explain how and why it happened.

“Because there are no surviving witnesses and Jason Owens had exclusive control of the crime scene for several days, and he had nearly completed the gruesome project of cremating his victims’ remains, we will never know many of the facts surrounding the Codds’ deaths.”

Previously, Owens said he used a chainsaw to kill and mutilate the family. He said he burned their remains in a wooden stove while on his own property, and sold some of their belongings to stage the incident as a robbery.

Since Owens took a plea deal, he dodged the death penalty and instead, received 60 years in prison. He apologized to the victims’ families who attended his court hearing and said he was grateful his life was spared.

“I want you to know that I am sincerely sorry for the loss of your loved ones and the pain and suffering it’s caused you. I’m grateful for you for the mercy you have left with this court to show me. I am truly sorry.”

In 2012, Cristie Cod appeared on season eight of Food Network Star. She also had several parts in TV shows behind her belt. J.T. Cod worked as a grip behind the scenes for both film and TV.

[Feature Photo: Family Handout/Buncombe County PD]